First Lady Michelle Obama speaks at the Walmart announcement initiative to make food healthier and more affordable in Washington, January 20
The Guardian: Michelle Obama is to back plans by the world’s biggest retailer, Walmart, to provide its customers healthier and more affordable food options as part of a drive to cut US obesity levels. The first lady has made promoting healthy eating her key initiative in the White House. She will join Walmart representatives at a press conference to launch the initiative later today.
Walmart is planning to cut prices on thousands of its packaged foods, reduce fat and salt content, and cut the prices of fresh fruit and vegetables. The retailer is also expected to address the problem of “food deserts” – poor urban areas that do not have supermarkets. By 2015, the company hopes to have lowered sodium content by 25% and sugar by 10% in its processed goods, and to have phased out any remaining trans-fats.
AP: More children will eat lunches and dinners at school under legislation passed Thursday by the House and sent to the president, part of first lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to end childhood hunger and fight childhood obesity.
The $4.5 billion bill approved by the House 264-157 would also try to cut down on greasy foods and extra calories by giving the government power to decide what kinds of foods may be sold in vending machines and lunch lines….
The first lady said in a statement after the vote that she was “thrilled” about House passage. She called the bill “a groundbreaking piece of bipartisan legislation that will significantly improve the quality of meals that children receive at school.”
The Senate passed the legislation in August. Republicans attempted to send the bill back to the Senate on Wednesday — instead of straight to President Barack Obama — by using a procedural maneuver to try and amend it with language that would require background checks for child care workers.
Democrats said the amendment was an attempt to kill the bill in the last few weeks of the congressional session because there would be no time for the Senate to pass it again and send it back to the House. They avoided the Senate detour and gave members of their party political cover by passing the background checks in a separate bill Thursday.
First Lady Michelle Obama at Riverside Elementary School in Miami, Florida, November 22. The First Lady was helping launch a new initiative to make fresh salads and salad bars available during lunch break to schools around the country